Diwali, the biggest of all festivals is around the corner, time to bring out those lovely clothes that you have been dying to flaunt. Oops! They are a tad tight. The mirror isn’t too flattering either, healthy glowing skin is hidden beneath a layer of long working hours and eating all kinds of junk and oily foods. No problem! Let’s put it right in a week so that you can slay it this festive season. Your skin is what you eat. The largest organ of our body needs the benefits of a nourishing diet to stay healthy, a lot of recent research has pointed towards the benefits of proteins, certain vitamins and minerals to enhance and protect skin health aka-get a healthy glowing skin:
Here are the foods you must be eating daily to get a natural glow back on your skin:
1. Green leafy vegetables are full of Vitamin A which revitalise the skin. Among the greens, Kale is right on top. It has a good amount of Vitamin C and Vitamin K which help prevent free radical damage and repair tissues to give you a glowing skin.
2. Carrots are a good source of beta carotene. It is known for its ability to prevent early ageing, reducing damage caused by UV rays and imparting a natural glow to the skin.
3. Tomatoes provide lycopene, a phytonutrient which gives it antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Eating tomato paste has been linked to reduced fine lines and furrows and it is also associated with protection against sunburn.
4. Vitamin C from citrus fruits is one of the most potent antioxidants, it boosts collagen production and keeps the skin smooth and firm. Orange can be eaten and its skin, which has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties can be used as a face pack.
5. Quercetin, a flavonoid, acts as an antioxidant fighting inflammation. It is abundant in Apple skin. Quercetin is known to increase the production of collagen and protects against UVB rays.
6. Lutein in avocados along with its beta carotene are perfect to use topically and in your food to nourish your skin inside out. The healthy fats present in this fruit are also great for the skin as they keep the skin supple.
7. Walnuts contain omega -3 fats which are anti-inflammatory in addition they are a good source of zinc, essential for the skin to function efficiently. Walnuts also give us a modest amount of Vitamin E and Vitamin C -both potent anti-oxidants. Sunflower seeds contain nutrients essential for the skin health like Vitamin E, linoleic acid, which keeps the skin moisturized. Almonds provide healthy fats in addition to Vitamin E, both required for a healthy moisturized skin.
8. Olive oil contains essential fatty acids or EFA’s, which are fats not manufactured in our body. EFA’s are an essential part of our cell membrane and help hold in the moisture making our skin supple
9. Did you know that whole wheat, barley, oats, kuttu (buckwheat flour), brown rice and red rice are all rich sources of antioxidants? These foods are usually associated with just “carbs” and we forget to think of them in terms of other beneficial nutrients they give us. They also provide us with the most essential skin Vitamins of the B family, which prevent dry itchy skin. Make sure you get the entire grain -bran, endosperm and germ to get it all.
10. Proteins are what makes the skin- keratin, collagen, and elastin. These are the ones that provide strength and elasticity to the skin. So get your daily dose of proteins by including lean meat, chicken, eggs, legumes, fish and milk daily.
11. Drink up! You need at least 35 ml of water per kilogram body weight daily. In addition, add some green tea for its skin nourishing flavonoids. Water is the best drink for keeping the skin hydrated and glowing in any season.
Now, let’s work out a diet for the next week where you can add all the above foods and still lose a kilogram or two.
Day 1. All fruits and 10-12 glasses of water. Avoid bananas and make sure you have one apple at least. Try to consume 1 kilogram of assorted fruits, eat a fruit whenever hungry don’t starve.
Day 2. All vegetables. Get the greens, yellows and reds in. Eat to your hearts content but avoid adding oils. Use vinegar and lemon juice as dressings for your salads. You can start your day with a large boiled potato and a teaspoon of butter.
Day 3. A day for a mix of fruits and vegetables. No banana, no potato in your meals.
These three days will help your body throw out all the toxins, so have plenty of water. The fiber and nutrients from fruits and vegetables will nourish your body while giving it a rest from daily excesses. Start your day with warm water, no tea or coffee. No sugar, no juices.
Day 4. Have 3 glasses of milk, one each at breakfast, lunch and dinner and take 8 bananas today. If milk is not suitable you can substitute it with soy milk.
Day 5. 6 tomatoes with 500 gram of either chicken or fish. For vegetarian options, you can use 500 grams of paneeror Bengal gram. All of these must be cooked without oil. There is lots to eat, so no reason to starve. All that tomato and protein needs 8-0 glasses of water to wash out, so drink up good.
Day 6. You can add vegetables to your chicken, black gram or paneer and eat any amount of this combination.
Day 7. You did it! Treat yourself to some brown rice or a chappati, any amount of vegetables and add some fresh fruit juice to your meals today
Note: This diet is not for diabetics, heart patients or if you are recovering from any surgery or ailment. This plan is the GM Motors Diet modified for us Indians, but it helps lose weight. Do not follow it for more than one week. Also, add 30 minutes of moderate walk or pranayama and surya namaskar to your schedule and watch your health improve way beyond the weight loss.
Healthy eating always leads to weight correction and the skin being an indicator of good health also shows signs of a detox and glows naturally.